Last month I shared about 5 tips you can use to jazz up your writing.
Today, I am sharing with you one, yes, just one solid tip that gets me writing even when I am sometimes maimed by writer’s block.
Sometimes, 1 tip is all you need.
I’ve used this on myself so I know it works. (By the way, don’t ever take advice from people who’ve never used their own advice.)
My Big Fat Secret
The tip is (drum roll please) — ask questions.
Yes, if your mind is a blank and your PC screen is also a blank and your fingers won’t caress the keyboard in search of letters to type, then this is one fireproof way to getting the ideas to wriggle out in droves.
Type all the questions that come to your mind about the topic. Type all the questions, silly, mad, related, unrelated, big and small. Type all sorts of crazy questions. It does not matter. All you want to do is get your questions down first.
This technique gets your brain into thinking of questions rather than thinking how to write. (You can also use this technique for your school essays or university assignments.)
It Saved Me From Horse Sperm Nightmare
You see, recently I had to write about a horse breeding programme.
Now what do I know about horses? Although I had interviewed and spoken with the manager of the horse facility, and knew what he wanted to communicate, I’m more of a cat person than a horse person. He wanted me to write about his premium horse breeding programme which included artificial insemination, extraction of equine semen and semen processing technology. I had to know about the different breeds of horses.
Sitting around and going why oh why am I writing about horse sperm isn’t going to cut it.
So I started asking questions. I typed all the questions I could possibly ask of the topic (horse breeding programme). If you know nothing, that’s even better. Approach the topic as if you know nothing.
Some of my questions were:
1. What does horse breeding mean?
2. Who buys horse semen?
3. Do I need a deposit to order a semen shipment?
4. What can you tell me about your horses?
5. What are their bloodlines like?
6. Do you ship all over the world?
7. Am I entitled to a refund if my mare does not conceive?
8. Can I leave my mare at your stable?
9. Why do breeders opt for artificial insemination versus the natural way of breeding horses?
Sifting Chaff From Grain
Now you get to do the next fun part – getting rid of those that make no sense or plain utter rubbish. How do you know which ones to keep and which ones to cut?
Keep going back to the topic and the goal of your writing.
In my case, my goal was to explain about a horse breeding technique called artificial insemination and persuade my client’s customers to use this service. If any question I listed down was not helping me pursue this goal, then it got deleted. Simple as that.
Once you have cut out the irrelevant questions, then you focus on what’s remaining.
The next step is easy – focus on finding answers to the questions you’ve listed. This may need some researching or reading materials that the client has given you. Or it could mean a call to the client if you’re still unsure of the answers.
At this point, you are not writing the full copy yet. Once you have all the questions answered, you start searching for relevancy between these questions. Basically you are grouping related questions (and their answers). Give a major title to your grouped questions if that helps you see connections between groups of questions.
Here’s The Other Secret
Now comes the real writing. Start by deleting the questions. What you end up with are sections of information. A clever copywriter will weave these sections into proper copy.
Once you have your copy, consider this your first draft. Take a break, go for a walk, brush your cat (I do this all the time to relax between tasks if I am at home), have a cup of tea, grab a Toblerone. Come back to the draft in a few hours time and do the rest of the polishing and re-writes if you want.
So that’s it. That’s my one tip that gets me out of a writer’s block with ease.
What is your golden tip for writing in a mental block?
I’ve got these other writing tips too. Check them out!
1. These 5 tips will make your writing shine!
2. Got lots to blog? Learn how to speed up your writing.
3. Thinking of being a freelance writer? I’ve got some great tips for you!
4. What makes a good writer?
P/S: Pssst…here’s a secret. A website that makes sales and turns prospects into customers is one that relies on solid copy written by people who understand what the web wants and how it works. If you’re still wondering why your website isn’t doing its thang, maybe you would like to talk to us. We’ll be happy to help you out!